God rest ye, merry gentlemen,
let nothing you dismay.
Remember, Christ, our Savior,
was born on Christmas day.
This has long been one of my favorite Christmas carols. Not only do I love the music, the words remind me that because our Savior came to earth to offer Himself as our atonement, we don’t need to be dismayed by the conditions of our lives here. Instead, in Jesus we have a precious and living hope that one day we will be with Him forever.
Of course, scholars generally agree that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25. And nowhere in the New Testament are Christians instructed to celebrate His birth. Even so, ICR founder Henry M. Morris pointed out that there can be legitimate reasons for us to observe Christmas. For one thing, it provides an opportunity in an increasingly secular world for Christians to proclaim the truth of the Incarnation, to bear witness to the fact that our Creator “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). For another, there is a special emphasis on family at this time of year, affording an occasion to reach out to and reconnect with loved ones…and perhaps reconcile differences that may have come between us.
Christmas also provides an opportunity to remind the younger members of our families and churches about the amazing news that the Creator of the universe came to earth as a baby so that He could reconcile us to God. Just as the angels proclaimed glad tidings to the shepherds at His birth, we can openly rejoice in the coming of the King.
And as we exchange gifts with family and friends, we can remember and celebrate the great gifts God has bestowed on us. Our feature article this month offers Dr. Henry Morris’ exploration of the marvelous gifts God has given through His creation and His Word, and most of all through His gift of Himself on our behalf. As Dr. Morris says, we should respond in praise and wonder.
In his regular apologetics column, Dr. Jim Johnson offers his insights on ways that the creatures of God “sing” of their glorious Designer. And Dr. Jerry Bergman’s article on “Snowflake” Bentley showcases yet another marvel of God—winter’s intricate frozen masterpieces. If God would invest this much beauty in something so ephemeral, just think how wonderful it will be to live in a heaven that’s designed to last for all eternity.
Henry Morris IV gives yet another cogent reason for celebrating Christmas: It provides a time to reflect on the many blessings God has conferred over the past year. Mr. Morris lists a number of ways in which ICR has been especially blessed through the gifts shared with us by like-minded believers who see the importance of proclaiming the message of the Creator. Thank you for partnering in this work.
God created the world and everything in it. Because He made us, He is able to save us. And the tiny babe born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago lives in heaven today as our Savior, Mediator, and King. These are indeed tidings of comfort and joy, as the Christmas carol states. May God bless you and yours this holiday season.
Cite this article: 2011. Tidings of Comfort and Joy. Acts & Facts. 40 (12): 3.